Elder Scrolls Lore » Discussions


A Question on The Kalpic Cycle

  • Member
    July 27

    This question stems from a discussion I had with The Last Blade in which we talked about what actually happens at the end of a Kalpa. I'm afraid this will have to be an almost sourceless discussion to start with as I am going purely on memory. Normally, if someone were to ask me what happens at the end of a Kalpa, I'd likely say that the start of the new begins on the first day of the Mythic Era. The roles played by some gods may change, but ultimately the Wheel has the same number of spokes and the same quantity of voids. It still remains the same universe as the last cycle, and that for all intents and purposes it is like the mother of all dragon breaks. Things start again and the dreamer's memories of the last cycle become hazy so that the myths become even more confusing: The memory of a memory of a memory.

    For that to make sense, have a look at the Battle of Red Mountain and Ysmir knowing that he was reneacting events of the Dawn Era:

    And the Ash King, Wulfharth, hoary Ysmir, went and made peace with the Orcs in spite of his Nordic blood, and they brought many warriors but no wizards at all. Many Nords could not bring themselves to ally with their traditional enemies, even in the face of Red Mountain. They were close to desertion. Then Wulfharth said: “Don't you see where you really are? Don't you know who Shor really is? Don't you know what this war is?” And they looked from the King to the God to the Devils and Orcs, and some knew, really knew, and they are the ones that stayed.

    It's like, in the next kalpa the same thing could happeen, only this time it could be the new Ysmir realising he was reenacting the Battle of Red Mountain, and also realising that the last reenactment was of the Dawn Era. It's like when you hold up a mirror in front of a mirror and see your reflection stretching all the way back into infinity.

    Trouble is, when I stop and think about it, I can't say for sure if that is the case. Sources like the Seven Fights of the Aldudagga point towards Alduin eating everything, not just the world. That would almost imply that the Interplay between stasis and chaos, Anu and Padomay, happens again. In that case it is a big bang - a new universe. Which actually holds water when we factor in that some tales are of cross-kalpic travel. The Walkabout of the Yokudans and their possible solar-powered rocket ships, the myth of Nords being the first humans, Akavir the future... Even the Twelve Worlds of Creation from the Anuad.

    If the current universe is like the memory of the previous, is the next kalpa the same? Or is it simply (ha) time reset?

  • Member
    July 27

    I know I am not that great at ES Lore, but I might have a theory on this. What if when the current Kalpa ends, it does begin again and everything happens like it did before. I know this isn't the best source, but there is a Futurama episode where the Professor, Fry, and Bender get in a time machine and travel into the future, and once they get the "end" of Earth and Time, it begins once again like before the same events happen and when they kept going one before finally stopping this process kept going on and on the exact same with no change. So taking that episode and what I have read here and other Lore places, I think that is what happens. Nirn gets destroyed and everything begins to repeat once again like before.

  • Member
    July 27

    The Last Blade said:

    I know I am not that great at ES Lore, but I might have a theory on this. What if when the current Kalpa ends, it does begin again and everything happens like it did before. I know this isn't the best source, but there is a Futurama episode where the Professor, Fry, and Bender get in a time machine and travel into the future, and once they get the "end" of Earth and Time, it begins once again like before the same events happen and when they kept going one before finally stopping this process kept going on and on the exact same with no change. So taking that episode and what I have read here and other Lore places, I think that is what happens. Nirn gets destroyed and everything begins to repeat once again like before.

    Futurama is up there with the Simpsons as the best possible sources. Loving your style, Blade!

    By and large, that would be what I would say too. The only distinction being that the new time would progress differently but with eerie similarities. It's really hard to explain, but you know how in the Lore Questions thread you guys are talking about Auriel? Well, that's a mer who according to the Monomyth is the soul of Anuiel, who is in turn the soul of Anu. Yet according to Varieties of Faith, Auriel was a mortal who ascended in full view of his followers.

    The merish creation myth is a stew of contradictions, but if we imagine that the latter was what happened in the last kalpa, while the former is what happened in this, the "ancestral memory" (for lack of a better term) recalls both events and so the myth is born. I'm not saying that's the case, please bear with me, just trying to articulate something rather difficult for me to express.

    Much like Aldmeris itsef which is less a physical place as it is a memory of a time, in this Kalpa it is remembered but cannot be verified. That could be because it is one of the Twelve Worlds of Creation from the previous cycle. Which is where it gets muddy, because the Anuad is supposed to be the previous universe's creation, rememebred by the godhead. If that is the case, then a new Kalpa could be a new universe, but that would mean a new dreamer. Amaranth.

    Does that imply a new cycle can only happen when someone succeeds where Lorkhan fails?

  • Member
    July 28
    The Kalpic cycle is a subject that I was kinda left in the dark for a while until I found a good source which I used as an analogy. So recently I've been been getting into a game called BlazBlue. The game kinda uses the concept of quantum mechanics which I've always related the Kalpic cycle with. So here's what I think about the Kalpic cycle: Basically it's a time reset with every cycle being similar but with slight alterations. I like to think these slight alterations are caused by interventions through either the elder scrolls, the gods, or even dragon breaks. Imagine if in the next Kalpic cycle, Herma Mora successfully tricked Ysgramor into turning into an elf. It may take a few more cycles for that to happen, but it is a possibility. This is also my reason why some of the lore contradicts itself. It's because of the butterfly effect caused by each Kalpa that have serious long-term effects.
  • Member
    July 28

    I'm far from knowledgeable on Kalpas but from what I read I've had a few question that popped up about them. While I agree with the idea of each kalpa being more or less the repetition of the same cycle but with different takes on each major event. It would, in that case, be the ultimate Dragonbreak. I do wonder though whether you guys think if some of the big players (divines, Daedra or the like) cross over to the next Kalpa. From the seven fights of Aldudagga, for example, I got the idea Alduin may actually cross over and the same counts for the "antagonists" of one of those stories (that smart man from old Nordic legends and Mehrunes Dagon for example). In those tales, Mehrunes Dagon is a Daedra that lives on in every Kalpa as a curse from Alduin where he is tasked to destroy all the parts of Mundus he hid away from Alduin during the whole world devouring. Did I just get a weird impression from that text or do you guys know of other examples?

    The idea of several events from previous Kalpas leaking over into the next one as myths would make a lot of sense. There are so many conflicting creation stories and recurring myths that it would seem odd if they were all true or even if only one of them was.

    Take the Bosmer for example; it is generally believed they left the main Altmeri population at an early state and left for the mainland of Tamriel. To the Khajit however, they were originally not much different to the Khajit but were lured into taking an elven form instead of following the moons, by Yffre. Which funnily enough sort of works with their own version of the events even if their version seems to take a bit from both legends (as far as I know). I personally wouldn't be surprised if the different parts of each of these stories would indeed be remnants of previous Kalpas.

  • Member
    July 28

    Paws said:

    The Last Blade said:

    I know I am not that great at ES Lore, but I might have a theory on this. What if when the current Kalpa ends, it does begin again and everything happens like it did before. I know this isn't the best source, but there is a Futurama episode where the Professor, Fry, and Bender get in a time machine and travel into the future, and once they get the "end" of Earth and Time, it begins once again like before the same events happen and when they kept going one before finally stopping this process kept going on and on the exact same with no change. So taking that episode and what I have read here and other Lore places, I think that is what happens. Nirn gets destroyed and everything begins to repeat once again like before.

    Futurama is up there with the Simpsons as the best possible sources. Loving your style, Blade!

    By and large, that would be what I would say too. The only distinction being that the new time would progress differently but with eerie similarities. It's really hard to explain, but you know how in the Lore Questions thread you guys are talking about Auriel? Well, that's a mer who according to the Monomyth is the soul of Anuiel, who is in turn the soul of Anu. Yet according to Varieties of Faith, Auriel was a mortal who ascended in full view of his followers.

    The merish creation myth is a stew of contradictions, but if we imagine that the latter was what happened in the last kalpa, while the former is what happened in this, the "ancestral memory" (for lack of a better term) recalls both events and so the myth is born. I'm not saying that's the case, please bear with me, just trying to articulate something rather difficult for me to express.

    Much like Aldmeris itsef which is less a physical place as it is a memory of a time, in this Kalpa it is remembered but cannot be verified. That could be because it is one of the Twelve Worlds of Creation from the previous cycle. Which is where it gets muddy, because the Anuad is supposed to be the previous universe's creation, rememebred by the godhead. If that is the case, then a new Kalpa could be a new universe, but that would mean a new dreamer. Amaranth.

    Does that imply a new cycle can only happen when someone succeeds where Lorkhan fails?

    Thank you and I was watching that episode as I was reading this.

    There is something MK wrote, I can't find it though I think it is on Imperial Libary, where he said that Lorkhan/Shor would always fail, and everything just keeps repeating itself over and over the exact same.

    Now, what if there is a parallel Nirn in which Lorkhan did succeed, or if the Daedra and Aedra both helped? If their Kalpa ended, would they resort the same or will it be something completely new?

    Now, if you believe in the Godhead and Dreamsleeve, then you could say the end of a Kalpa is when the Godhead "wakes up" and when "it" goes back to sleep then everything can play out different because most of the time you never have the same dream twice. 

  • Member
    July 29
    Tein, quote button not working but I think what you say is pretty succinct. The Bosmer and Khajiiti myths embody that potentially cross kalpic contradiction. Also, you mentioned Dagon as the Leper Demon King of the Seven Fights, and that stuff is crazy weird. I like Dagon, he's this simple Daedric Prince with a surprising amount of layers. The connection he has with Lyg and also the Magna-ge is another piece of reality-bending mind fuckery that might actually apply to this kalpa discussion. Or muddy the waters totally :D
  • Member
    Mon at 7:03 AM

    Paws said: Tein, quote button not working but I think what you say is pretty succinct. The Bosmer and Khajiiti myths embody that potentially cross kalpic contradiction. Also, you mentioned Dagon as the Leper Demon King of the Seven Fights, and that stuff is crazy weird. I like Dagon, he's this simple Daedric Prince with a surprising amount of layers. The connection he has with Lyg and also the Magna-ge is another piece of reality-bending mind fuckery that might actually apply to this kalpa discussion. Or muddy the waters totally :D

    Isn't that what makes TES lore so amazing? Anything will simultaneously muddy the waters and illuminate any discussion. :P